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Japan enforces new guidelines for human pyramids in schools

By Daniel Uria   |   Feb. 10, 2016 at 2:22 PM

OSAKA, Japan, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Education officials in Japan have announced that new guidelines regarding human pyramids in schools will be drafted by the end of March.

Building human pyramids, known as Kumitaiso in Japan, is a popular and long-standing practice in Japanese schools but has come under fire after an incident in September 2015 left several students injured.

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The incident occurred in Osaka when a 10-story human pyramid collapsed during a junior high school's sports festival injuring five students and leaving one with a broken arm.

City government in Osaka responded to the incident by creating new guidelines that limited the size of human pyramids to five students and human towers, which feature the student on top standing, to three.

Osaka is now seeking to have the practice banned entirely as other areas are filing with the Japan Sport Council to impose limits and other regulations to make the practice more safe.

"It involves the lives of children and some of the casualties reported have led to serious injuries," education minister Hiroshi Hase said, according to Japan Times.

Hase also said the new regulations would be decided on by the end of March but did not provide any specifics as to what kinds of changes would be made.

"I should not comment on what could be included or not because we won't know until we analyze the data," he said.

The Japan Sport Council reported that insurance payments were made in relation to more than 8,000 human pyramid injuries between 2011 and 2014.

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